The best photos from the 35th America’s Cup

The view from Rena's sundeck

The best way to view the America's Cup action is from the sundeck of a luxury yacht and the Bermudan authorities have been very accommodating to spectator boats, as Brad Baker, captain of the classic 44.2 motor yacht Rena explains.

"After the whole fleet picked up anchor to reposition forward for the fourth time in the space of an hour, the course marshal decided that we all may as well stay underway and slowly encroach on the course as the race proceeded beyond the starting box and towards the north end. Captains remained vigilant, and respectful, as we unanimously agreed to march forward in unison to maintain the best, and closest viewing platform for our guests, much to their delight."

In this photo, taken on June 18, Rena is joined by the Baltic sailing yacht Visione, the Alloy Yachts ketch Mondango 3, the Royal Denship explorer yacht Albula and the 87 metre Feadship superyacht Musashi.

Photo: Brad Baker

Inspiring tomorrow's talent

The America's Cup isn't just about celebrating the achievements of some of the best sailors in the world today, but also about inspiring the next generation. The America's Cup Endeavour Program has helped youngsters aged 9-14 from all across the world take to the water in Bermuda as part of a junior regatta, racing Hobie Wave catamarans. Here, the Dutch and Bermudan teams are assisted by safety RIBs as Oracle Team USA's raceboat speeds past.

Emirates Team New Zealand’s world turned upside down

The second week of the America’s Cup saw some dramatic twists and turns with Groupama Team France knocked out following the conclusion of the playoff qualifiers. However, it was Emirates Team New Zealand who made the most headlines with a dramatic capsize during the fourth playoff semi-final race against Land Rover BAR. As this close-up photo reveals, several crewmembers were able to cling onto their pedal-powered grinders after the raceboat pitch-poled on June 6.

However, this upset was not enough the throw Emirates Team New Zealand off course and they went on to beat Land Rover BAR 5-2 in the semi-final playoffs ending the British team's America's Cup campaign.

Photo: Ricardo Pinto / ACEA

Artemis Racing takes the plunge

Very strong conditions on June 6 made for tricky sailing, with Artemis Racing finding the going particularly tough, losing two races in a row in their playoff semi-final against Softbank Team Japan. America’s Cup boats are well known for their ability to foil above the water, but this photo shows that they are also able to cope when the bow plunges below the water, with the Swedish team’s boat threatening to turn submarine in this action shot.

Photo: Gilles Martin Raget / ACEA

The J class fleet

The America's Cup J Class Regatta got underway on June 19 with a record fleet assembled. Six of the seven classic yachts that raced in Bermuda can be seen in this behind-the-scenes photo taken from the foredeck of Lionheart on June 7.

Crewmember Tobias Sirota told Boat International that the excitement on the dock was palpable: "There is a buzz among the full-time crews who, despite being a pretty competitive and proud bunch, have been helping each other move truck loads of sails, lines and race gear to the dock. Slowly but surely the fleet is transforming from cruising mode to race mode," he said,

"For that spectacle to be ready and all seven participating yachts to arrive at the start box on time and in working order has been a huge amount of work. Preparations started two years ago, and this is a job we are all enormously proud to be a part of."

Photo: Tobias Sirota

Dean Barker weathers the storm

The second week saw SoftBank Team Japan outperform expectations. Despite being written off by many as the weakest team left in the competition, Dean Barker’s outfit won three out of their first four playoff semi-final races against Artemis Racing, before succumbing to a 5-3 defeat. Barker’s experience at the helm proved invaluable, and the Kiwi veteran was brilliantly picked out from the spray in this dramatic photo taken on June 6, when the Japanese team set a top speed of 47.3 knots.

Photo: Ricardo Pinto / ACEA

Oracle Team USA’s fist-bump bonus

The America’s Cup playoff qualifiers couldn’t have gone much better for Oracle Team USA, with the Defender winning eight races out of ten and topping the leaderboard on June 3 with back-to-back wins against close rivals Emirates Team New Zealand and Land Rover BAR. This earned them a bonus point heading into the all-important America’s Cup Match — but rather than jumping for joy, skipper Jimmy Spithill and tactician Tom Slingsby celebrated with a simple fist bump.

Photo: Ricardo Pinto / ACEA

The opening ceremony

The 35th America’s Cup began 24 hours late after high winds forced a postponement of the first day’s racing. This didn’t put a dampener on the delayed opening ceremony though, with a concert from Grammy-winning musician Wyclef Jean on Saturday May 27 delighting the audience. Later in the evening, the teams were welcomed to the main stage in a manner befitting rock stars, as a packed crowd lit up the Bermudan night with their glowing wristbands. The celebrations climaxed with a fireworks display and a concert from Bermudian musical legend Gene Steed.

Photo: Ricardo Pinto / ACEA

Michael Douglas wets the roof

Numerous celebrities travelled to Bermuda to watch the America’s Cup, but for Hollywood legend Michael Douglas, the journey was a short one. The actor has lived in Bermuda with his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones for the past ten years, and he was given star treatment by Russell Coutts, CEO of the America’s Cup Event Authority, who invited Douglas to take part in the roof wetting ceremony for the new America’s Cup village before the pair headed out on the water to watch the sailing together.

Photo: Ricardo Pinto / ACEA

Land Rover BAR assesses the damage

Race day one saw Sir Ben Ainslie’s bid to become the first Briton to lift the America’s Cup get off to an inauspicious start. A heavy collision between the Land Rover BAR raceboat and SoftBank Team Japan left a large hole in the British team’s hull. Overnight repairs meant that Ainslie’s team were back on the water for day two, but their form was mixed ever since and they were eventually eliminated on June 8 during the playoff semi-finals.

Photo: Harry KH

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